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Coffee Grounds at bottom of the cup?

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  • Coffee Grounds at bottom of the cup?

    I've been noticing that I have a fair amount of coffee grounds at the bottom of my cup. What does that mean? Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

  • #2
    How did you make the coffee (eg. with what machine / device)?


    • #3
      I have a Faema e98 compact with a mazzer sj


      • #4
        A worn seal might allow finer grinds to drip down the outside of the portafilter and into your cup


        • #5
          Also, have you recently changed you technique (i.e. have you started dosing more)? Is the portafilter locking in properly?


          • #6
            Coffee Grounds at bottom of the cup?

            I imagine you keep it all very clean, but same thing can come from a build up of coffee oils between PF & basket

            Or as a result of grinding too fine to compensate for stale beans, also unlikely?


            • #7
              Originally posted by Adam1982 View Post
              I've been noticing that I have a fair amount of coffee grounds at the bottom of my cup. What does that mean? Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?
              There are 3 ways this can happen. Other experienced coffee and equipment merchants may be able to add to this:

              a) Grinds in the group head area coming over the outside of the group cup (the end of the group handle containing the filter, that locks in).
              This can be caused by say,
              a badly worn seal,
              overdosing the filter, then the grinds can get pushed up into the seal area when the handle is locked in,
              not locking the group handle in well,
              not cleaning the group head area from time to time, of "dregs" that get built up from the process of coffee making,
              using a coffee filter that has had the rounded top edge bashed flat with resulting sharp (or cracked) edge, from the operator banging out the puk on a metal surface.

              b) Dosing and tamping the group handle on a bench or rubber mat that has spilled grinds on it. The grinds stick to the wet outlets of the group handle, and get flowed out into the cup with the brew.

              c) From flowing out through a damaged (cracked) filter basket. Check the bottom edge of the filter to see if there is a fine crack going part way round. It could be hard to see but if its cracked, it will be worse when the filter is dosed and locked in to the group head, because the water pressure and shower can push down on the puk (espec if its overdosed) opening the crack further than it looks when it is in your hand.

              Hope that helps.
              Last edited by Fresh_Coffee; 25 August 2012, 12:13 PM. Reason: add more information for the benefit of the masses


              • #8
                What Fresh_Coffee said matches my experience (except I've never had a cracked basket!)

                It could also be a 'grounds' problem. Maybe misaligned burrs from a clean and re-assemble of the grinder. Or maybe just too fine a grind for the basket (if the problem has always been there).



                • #9
                  Thank you all for the informative answers.

                  I normally put about 15-16 grams in a double basket this produces a good shot with nice thick crema at about the rate of 30ml in 30 seconds. My grind is fairly fine but could a hard tamp be the problem?

                  I will try a coarser grind and see how that works.

                  I will have a look at also changing the seals as this could also be the issue more than likely as it has been about 8 months since I last changed it.

                  Again thanks for the help I will try some things and get back to you.


                  • #10
                    I use a krups basket and with a fine grind get some coming through post tamp. They end up in the cup. It's not ideal, but I can live with it.


                    • #11
                      I dont believe grinds cant get through the holes in the bottom of the filter ie, a "finer" grind than what you might call a "standard" grind will not cause particles (by virtue of them being *smaller*) to somehow get through the holes to the other side of the filter and into your cup.....Any grinds you find in your cup, got there by way of the three methods I mentioned above, either over the top, or through a crack.

                      Adam. 8 months in home use should still mean a very new seal (unless you seldom clean the group head area and there are a lot of old grinds up there acting like grinding paste every time you lock in the group handle). Look for some other reason. Re your question about hard tamp....No....unless you are using a smaller tamper than required and when you tamp you push a lot of grinds up the wall of the filter to the rounded edge, so that when you lock into the group, those grinds end up interfering with the seal. And that comes back to grinds flowing over the top / group handle not sealed properly. The "hardness" of your tamp per se, will not by itself (if it is a clean tamp) make grinds jump ship and end up in your cup. There is no magic here, the explanation will be quite logical.

                      Hope that helps.


                      • #12
                        There are most definitely grind coming through the holes in the basket. I have a naked handle and can see (and feel) them post tamp. I suspect it's a combination of an uneven grind and comparatively large holes. I also get some on the handle from tamping on the knockbox, but they are larger particles.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MrJack View Post
                          ..... I suspect it's a combination of an uneven grind and comparatively large holes.....
                          What grinder and machine?


                          • #14
                            I stripped the machine replaced the seal and the shower screen.

                            Also took the cover that sits over the group head and that the portafilter locks into and you were correct it was very dirty.

                            I soaked it in some cafetto and then scrubbed off any remaining grinds with my group head brush.

                            It is all clean now I will pull a shot and see how it goes.


                            • #15
                              Breville BES820 Espresso machine, using Krups 51mm single wall basket.

                              Sunbeam EM480 grinder.